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Brain control of blood glucose levels: implications for the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes.

Publication ,  Journal Article
Alonge, KM; D'Alessio, DA; Schwartz, MW
Published in: Diabetologia
January 2021

Despite a rapidly growing literature, the role played by the brain in both normal glucose homeostasis and in type 2 diabetes pathogenesis remains poorly understood. In this review, we introduce a framework for understanding the brain's essential role in these processes based on evidence that the brain, like the pancreas, is equipped to sense and respond to changes in the circulating glucose level. Further, we review evidence that glucose sensing by the brain plays a fundamental role in establishing the defended level of blood glucose, and that defects in this control system contribute to type 2 diabetes pathogenesis. We also consider the possibility that the close association between obesity and type 2 diabetes arises from a shared defect in the highly integrated neurocircuitry governing energy homeostasis and glucose homeostasis. Thus, whereas obesity is characterised by an increase in the defended level of the body's fuel stores (e.g. adipose mass), type 2 diabetes is characterised by an increase in the defended level of the body's available fuel (e.g. circulating glucose), with the underlying pathogenesis in each case involving impaired sensing of (or responsiveness to) relevant humoral negative feedback signals. This perspective is strengthened by growing preclinical evidence that in type 2 diabetes the defended level of blood glucose can be restored to normal by therapies that restore the brain's ability to properly sense the circulating glucose level. Graphical abstract.

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Published In

Diabetologia

DOI

EISSN

1432-0428

ISSN

0012-186X

Publication Date

January 2021

Volume

64

Issue

1

Start / End Page

5 / 14

Related Subject Headings

  • Sympathetic Nervous System
  • Parasympathetic Nervous System
  • Obesity
  • Islets of Langerhans
  • Humans
  • Homeostasis
  • Glycemic Control
  • Feedback, Physiological
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Endocrinology & Metabolism
 

Citation

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Alonge, K. M., D’Alessio, D. A., & Schwartz, M. W. (2021). Brain control of blood glucose levels: implications for the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes. Diabetologia, 64(1), 5–14. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00125-020-05293-3
Alonge, Kimberly M., David A. D’Alessio, and Michael W. Schwartz. “Brain control of blood glucose levels: implications for the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes.Diabetologia 64, no. 1 (January 2021): 5–14. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00125-020-05293-3.
Alonge KM, D’Alessio DA, Schwartz MW. Brain control of blood glucose levels: implications for the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes. Diabetologia. 2021 Jan;64(1):5–14.
Alonge, Kimberly M., et al. “Brain control of blood glucose levels: implications for the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes.Diabetologia, vol. 64, no. 1, Jan. 2021, pp. 5–14. Epmc, doi:10.1007/s00125-020-05293-3.
Alonge KM, D’Alessio DA, Schwartz MW. Brain control of blood glucose levels: implications for the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes. Diabetologia. 2021 Jan;64(1):5–14.
Journal cover image

Published In

Diabetologia

DOI

EISSN

1432-0428

ISSN

0012-186X

Publication Date

January 2021

Volume

64

Issue

1

Start / End Page

5 / 14

Related Subject Headings

  • Sympathetic Nervous System
  • Parasympathetic Nervous System
  • Obesity
  • Islets of Langerhans
  • Humans
  • Homeostasis
  • Glycemic Control
  • Feedback, Physiological
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Endocrinology & Metabolism